Daily Current Affairs – 26 & 27 January 2024

These current affairs today are a part of our daily current affairs. We cover a wide range of topics from state, national, and international news that are relevant and important for competitive exams. Our team prepares today’s current affairs after going through many newspapers, such as The Hindu, Indian Express, PIB, PRS, etc.

Scroll down for current affairs for 26 & 27 January 2024.

Government Approval for Coal Gasification Plants

  • The government has granted approval for the establishment of two coal gasification plants in West Bengal and Odisha.
  • The goal is to achieve 100 metric tons of coal gasification by 2030, aligning with India’s objectives of self-reliance and energy independence.
  • Coal India Limited (CIL) will lead the projects in collaboration with GAIL for a Coal-to-Synthetic Natural Gas plant in West Bengal and with BHEL for a Coal-to-Ammonium Nitrate plant in Odisha.
  • The total investment for the West Bengal project is ₹13,052 crores, while the Odisha project, a joint venture between CIL and BHEL, has a total investment of ₹11,782 crores.
  • Both projects are anticipated to be operational by 2028-29.
  • The Centre has given its nod for equity investment in the Coal-to-Synthetic Natural Gas project (CIL and GAIL) and the Coal-to-Ammonium Nitrate project (CIL and BHEL).
  • The Union Cabinet has approved a scheme to promote Coal and Lignite Gasification Projects by Government PSUs and the Private Sector, with a total outlay of ₹8,500 crores for incentivizing coal gasification projects.

Turkey’s Parliament Approves Sweden’s NATO Membership Bid

  • Turkey’s parliament has officially ratified Sweden’s NATO membership bid, overcoming the significant delay that lasted for 20 months and serving as the final major obstacle to the expansion of the Western military alliance. 
  • In a vote held in Turkey’s general assembly, where President Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling alliance holds a majority, the application submitted by Sweden in 2022 received overwhelming approval with a vote of 287-55. 
  • It’s worth noting that the endorsement of all NATO members is a prerequisite for countries seeking to join the alliance.

NATO: 

  • The North Atlantic Treaty Organization also called the North Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental military alliance of 31 member states – 29 European and two North American. 
  • Formation: 4 April 1949 
  • Headquarters: Brussels, Belgium
  • Secretary General: Jens Stoltenberg
  • Chair of the NATO Military Committee: Lt. Admiral Rob Bauer, Royal Netherlands Navy

Rohan Bopanna now holds the No. 1 position in men’s doubles tennis

  • Rohan Bopanna, the renowned Indian tennis player, has made history by becoming the oldest athlete to hold the No. 1 position in men’s doubles tennis.
  • Partnered with Australia’s Matthew Ebden, the 43-year-old tennis ace secured a significant win against the Argentine pair Máximo González and Andrés Molteni in straight sets during the quarter-finals of the 2024 Australian Open.
  • The second-seeded pair of Bopanna and Ebden, representing India and Australia respectively, is set to face the unseeded duo of Tomas Machac and Zhizhen Zhang in the semi-finals of the Australian Open.
  • Following his achievement of reaching the World No. 1 ranking, Bopanna expressed his belief that this accomplishment would serve as an inspiration for people worldwide who are 40 and above, illustrating that age is not a hindrance to success in the sporting arena.
  • Bopanna, who debuted more than two decades ago, showcases a career marked by longevity and commitment to the sport, a testament to his passion for tennis.
  • The International Tennis Federation notes that Bopanna surpasses the previous record held by Mike Bryan, who was 41 years and 76 days old when his streak as the oldest men’s doubles No. 1 came to an end in 2019.
  • As the Australian Open concludes on Sunday, Bopanna will reach the age of 43 years and 330 days, adding another milestone to his illustrious career.

K’taka HC Chief Justice Prasanna B Varale to be appointed SC judge

  • The Central government has given approval for the elevation of Chief Justice of Karnataka, HO Justice Prasanna B Varale, to the position of Judge in the Supreme Court. Upon his oath-taking, the Supreme Court will reach its maximum strength of 34 judges, inclusive of Chief Justice of India. Notably, Justice Varale will be the third sitting Supreme Court judge from a Scheduled Caste community.
  • Justice Prasanna Bhalachandra Varale, born on June 23, 1962, in Nipani, Karnataka, completed his graduation in Arts and Law from Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University. Starting his legal career in 1985, he was appointed as an Additional Judge of the Bombay High Court in July 2008, subsequently becoming a permanent judge three years later.
  • Having served as a judge in the Bombay High Court for 14 years, Justice Varale assumed the position of Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court in October 2022. He is recognized for his proactive approach in initiating suo moto cases in the public interest, demonstrating a commitment to addressing legal matters for the general welfare.

CCI approves JSW Group’s acquisition of up to 38% in MG Motor India

  • The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has granted approval for JSW Ventures Singapore Pte Ltd to acquire around 38% of the share capital of MG Motor Pvt Ltd. JSW Ventures is a wholly-owned subsidiary of JSW International Tradecorp Pte Ltd and is part of the JSW Group.
  • MG Motor India, an Indian-based company, is primarily involved in the manufacturing and sales of passenger cars and electric vehicles under the brand ‘MG,’ as stated by the CCI. The commission added that a detailed order would be issued soon.
  • In November of the previous year, a strategic joint venture was announced between China’s SAIC Motor and the JSW Group, with the latter acquiring a 35% stake in MG Motor India. Notably, MG Motor UK is owned by SAIC Motor UK.
  • The joint venture’s objective is to focus on the growth and transformation of MG Motor in India, bringing together resources in the fields of automobiles and new technology.

JSW Group: 

The group’s diverse businesses include steel, energy, infrastructure, cement and paints, across India, the United States, South America, and Africa.

Founded: 1982

Founder: Sajjan Jindal

Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Key people

Chairman: Sajjan Jindal

Parent: O.P. Jindal Group

Ukrainian-born Japanese woman crowned Miss Japan

  • The title of Miss Japan 2024 was claimed by Carolina Shiino, a 26-year-old Japanese woman born to Ukrainian parents. Hailing from Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture, she made history by becoming the first naturalized Japanese citizen to win the pageant in Tokyo.
  • Carolina Shiino relocated to Japan at the age of five when her mother married a Japanese man. This victory follows a significant moment in 2015 when Ariana Miyamoto, a bi-racial woman with a Japanese mother and an African American father, became the first of her background to be crowned Miss Japan. 
  • Even at that time, the decision to crown a mixed-race individual sparked questions and discussions within the pageant community.

Japan: 

Capital: Tokyo

Prime Minister: Fumio Kishida

Currency: Japanese yen 

Cabinet approves signing of MoU between India and Oman on cooperation in the field of Information Technology

  • The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, was briefed on a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology of the Republic of India and the Ministry of Transport, Communications, and Information Technology of the Sultanate of Oman. 
  • This MoU aims to foster comprehensive cooperation by facilitating mutual support, sharing technologies, information, and investments in the field of Information Technology.
  • Effective from the date of the Parties’ signatures, the MoU is set to be in force for a duration of 3 years. 
  • The agreement will enhance both Government-to-Government (G2G) and Business-to-Business (B2B) bilateral cooperation in the realm of Information Technology. Additionally, the MoU anticipates strengthened collaboration, leading to increased employment opportunities within the IT sector.

Oman: 

Capital: Muscat

Sultan: Haitham bin Tariq

Crown Prince: Theyazin bin Haitham

Currency: Omani rial

Cabinet approves Protocol for establishment of joint Economic and Trade Committee between India and Dominican Republic

  • Under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, the Union Cabinet has given approval for the signing of a protocol to establish a Joint Economic and Trade Committee (JETCO) between the Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of India, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Dominican Republic.
  • Presently, there is no existing bilateral institutional mechanism addressing trade and commerce between India and the Dominican Republic. 
  • Notably, India imports gold from the Dominican Republic and exports various products such as pharmaceuticals, marine products, motor vehicles, two and three-wheelers, among others.
  • The establishment of the JETCO is anticipated to fortify economic ties between India and the Dominican Republic. It will serve as a pivotal platform for discussions, information exchange, and the sharing of knowledge and ideas, ultimately facilitating trade and industry collaboration. Additionally, the protocol is viewed as an effective gateway to accessing the broader markets of Latin America and the Caribbean.

Dominican Republic : 

The Dominican Republic is a country on the island of Hispaniola in the Greater Antilles archipelago of the Caribbean Sea, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the north.

Capital: Santo Domingo

President: Luis Abinader

Currency: Dominican peso

MoD signs contract, worth over Rs 1070 cr, with Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd 

  • The Ministry of Defence has entered into a contract with Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd (MDL) for the procurement of 14 Fast Patrol Vessels (FPVs) for the Indian Coast Guard (ICG). The contract is valued at Rs 1070.47 crore. These versatile FPVs will be designed, developed, and manufactured indigenously by MDL under the Buy (Indian-IDDM) Category, with a total delivery timeline of 63 months.
  • Equipped with advanced features and technology, the FPVs will include multipurpose drones, wirelessly controlled remote water rescue craft, lifebuoy, and AI capability, providing increased flexibility and operational advantages to the ICG in addressing contemporary multidimensional challenges.
  • These modern FPVs are set to play a crucial role in enhancing fisheries protection and monitoring, control and surveillance, anti-smuggling operations, search and rescue operations in shallow waters, assistance to ships/crafts in distress, towing capabilities, and monitoring during marine pollution response operations, along with anti-piracy operations.
  • The acquisition of these FPVs is a strategic move to enhance the capabilities of the ICG, aligning with the government’s heightened focus on maritime security.

CCI gives a nod to 100% acquisition of Wistron Infocomm Manufacturing (India) Private Limited by Tata Electronics Private Limited

  • The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has granted approval for the 100% acquisition of Wistron Infocomm Manufacturing (India) Private Limited by Tata Electronics Private Limited. 
  • This proposed acquisition involves obtaining the entire equity share capital of Wistron Infocomm Manufacturing (India) Private Limited from SMS Infocomm (Singapore) Private Limited and Wistron Hong Kong Limited by Tata Electronics Private Limited, which is a greenfield venture of Tata Sons Private Limited.
  • Tata Electronics Private Limited specializes in manufacturing smartphone enclosures, a crucial high-precision component for smartphones. 
  • On the other hand, Wistron Infocomm Manufacturing (India) Private Limited, established in 2017 by the Wistron group, is an electrical and electronics manufacturing company engaged in electronic manufacturing services, specifically contract manufacturing of electronics for smartphones in India, operating at its plant in Karnataka.
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